Uber car's 'safety' driver streamed TV show before fatal crash

Uber safety driver was watching TV moments before fatal collision

A Reuters image shows investigators examining Uber’s autonomous car

An Uber driver in a self-driving auto was streaming television until moments before the vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian, according to police. Those records showed that Vasquez was streaming "The Voice" on the night of the crash, and was watching it until 9:59pm local time.

In response to a public records request, the Tempe Police Department released 318 pages of report on June 21 which stated the driver Rafaela Vasquez looked down for over 200 times without focussing on the road, glancing up just for few seconds before the vehicle hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg who was crossing the street. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey prohibited Uber from continuing its tests of self-driving cars after Herzberg was run over.

Dashcam footage shows her looking down, clearly not paying attention to the road.

"We continue to cooperate fully with ongoing investigations while conducting our own internal safety review", an Uber spokesperson told Quartz. Before that happened, Governor Doug Ducey, who had lured the company to Arizona with promises of lax regulation, banned Uber's self-driving cars from the road after the crash. Pittsburgh also wants Uber's app to alert human drivers when they're exceeding speed limits.

Uber immediately halted public testing of its self-driving vehicles following the crash.

Uber has since shut down their self-driving program in the Valley.

Uber pulled its self-driving cars out of Arizona the day before the NTSB report was released, eliminating the jobs of about 300 people who served as backup drivers and performed other jobs connected to the vehicles. She was looking down for 5.2 of the final 5.7 seconds prior to the crash, the report says.

Tory chief whip wrote to local party associations to quash Brexit rebellion
Mr Grieve said the statement amounted to an "obvious acknowledgement of the sovereignty of this place over the executive in black and white language".

The crash dealt Uber a major setback in its efforts to develop self-driving cars, and the company closed its autonomous vehicle testing programme in Arizona after the incident.

During nine video segments obtained from the vehicle's dashcam, Vasquez looked down 204 times.

A video released shortly after the fatal March 18 crash showed the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, with her head down until the moment they realized the vehicle they were behind the wheel of was about to strike someone.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery had the case transferred to the Yavapai County Attorney's Office to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The report found that Vasquez "was distracted and looking down" for close to seven of the almost 22 minutes prior to the collision.

Last month, an Uber spokeswoman said the company was undergoing a "top-to-bottom safety review" and had brought on a former federal transport official to help improve the company's safety culture. "We plan to share more on the changes we'll make to our programme soon". However, she told investigators that she was monitoring the car's self-driving interface and wasn't using either her personal or business phones. The operator of the vehicle was supposed to be watching the road and dealing with emergencies.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators examining the Volvo that was involved in the crash.

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